Asian American Studies Major

Students majoring in Asian American studies must complete 14 courses and an immersion project.

Students must also complete the Undergraduate Registration Requirement and the degree requirements of their home school.

Course Title
Program Courses (12 units)
2 core courses chosen from:
Introduction to Asian American Studies
Introduction to Asian American History
Global Asians
Introduction to Asian American Literature
4 introductory electives 1
6 advanced electives 2
Related Courses (2 units)
2 courses in other areas of ethnic studies, such as African American, Latina/o, Native American and indigenous, or critical ethnic studies. Eligible courses are offered by several academic departments and programs. 3

All 200-level program courses (ASIAN_AM) count toward this requirement, but a course may not be counted toward both this requirement and the 2-course core.


All 300-level program courses (ASIAN_AM) count toward this requirement.


Courses require approval by the major adviser, director of undergraduate studies, or program director. First-year seminar courses do not count toward the major.

Immersion Project

The immersion component is designed to encourage either advanced research or in-depth community engagement.

  • All immersion projects must be approved in advance by the major adviser, director of undergraduate studies, or program director.
  • No more than 2 units of credit earned through the immersion project may count toward the 14 units required for the major.
  • Options for immersion projects are listed below. The first three options require a faculty sponsor or adviser drawn from program faculty (including affiliated faculty).
    • Senior thesis in Asian American studies
    • Independently proposed research project
    • Independently proposed internship at an Asian American community organization or other nonprofit whose work involves Asian American issues; must include a strong academic component with research and substantive written work
    • SESP 299-1 Civic Engagement Capstone Research, SESP 299-2 Certificate in Civic Engagement- Capstone Project related to Asian American communities and issues
    • Study abroad courses on Asian diasporas
    • Chicago Field Studies in a field related to Asian American Studies

Honors in Asian American Studies

To qualify for honors, a student must demonstrate consistently high performance in the major and complete a major research project during the senior year, selecting a thesis adviser from among core and affiliated faculty. Students whose theses and grades meet program criteria are recommended to the college for graduation with honors. For more information see the director of undergraduate studies or program director.  Also see Honors in the Major.